Building Block: Geographic information services (GIS)
Maturity: BETA
Geographic information services (gis) logo.

Short Description: Provides functionality to identify, tag and analyze geographic locations of an object, such as a water source, building, mobile phone or medical commodity.

Full Description: The geographic information services ICT Building Blocks enables various applications to find and associate geographic locations with the identity of a person (eg patient, doctor, farmer, agricultural extensionist), facility (eg hospital, ambulance, lab, production facility), piece of equipment (eg ventilator, vaccine container), or location (eg water source, agricultural field). This association may also have a timestamp of when it was acquired and be tagged with a unique digital identifier. Applications or components using geographical information services can collect, share and use the temporal and spatial information with other applications, such as map repositories and data visualization tools, where it can be displayed on geographical maps. The data can alo be combined with other data such as population, surveillance, or supply chain data sets to enable geospatial and geotemporal analysis. Country’s differing data privacy policies may affect how much information geographical information services can gather.

Other Names: Geolocation services

Key Digital Functionalities:

  • Measures and tags location and timestamp information to specific data acquired functionalities from various applications
  • Searches and fetches data based on geospatial and geotemporal coordinates given by queries from other applications.
  • Allows for visualization and analysis of resources and/or human activity data by linking geographic information with descriptive information
  • Verifies and confirms the presence or absence of objects at specified locations or GPS coordinates

Examples of use in different sectors:

  • Agriculture sector: 
    • Critical for improving farm productivity, agri-insurance and traceability systems
    • Static GIS provides information about natural resource consumption and restoration (eg water harvesting) and land utilization and degradation (eg soil map)
    • Dynamic GIS provides information about crop sown areas to estimate productivity, crop damage to verify agri-insurance claims, and place of origin for agro-produce
    • GIS can keep land records, facilitate crop planning and manage the application of fertilizers based on soil conditions, water resource availability and agro-climatic conditions 
    • Helps in crop acreage estimation, storage and logistics planning and the monitoring and forecasting of drought to help increase drought preparedness and identify and implement appropriate disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures
  • Education sector: 
    • Locate every private and public education institution\
    • Communicates student enrollment data, grade level allocation, and student travel in a municipality, district or state
  • Health sector: 
    • Improve the identification of disease outbreak sources, supply chain bottlenecks, and structures in the built environment that impact health and wellness
  • Social Protection sector:
    • Support planning and operations that are tailored to the needs of specific areas e.g. identification of all households located in a disaster-affected area, to trigger a ‘shock-responsive’ programme; tailored planning of public works; defining number/position of pay-points in a given area, etc.
    • Support geo-spatial monitoring of needs and programmes to address the above


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